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I am interested in seeing how folks have added or included staging in their track plans.  Despite having the ability to have 4 trains on the rails (not all running at the same time) I would like to include several others waiting in the wings if you will.  Any plans or pics would be helpful.

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The staging yard on my layout is hidden under the main level. It is at -6”.  The main layout level is 0”. There is a tunnel portal that trains use to enter and exit so it appears the trains have gone somewhere. It also functions as a reverse loop. There are two parallel storage tracks and a third train can be parked on the lead. Each storage track will hold a 25 car freight. The tunnel portal is between T6 and T8 on the LCS screen. It is shown at the lower left of the layout picture.

Since the track and turnouts are hidden there is a small LED panel in the fascia that shows turnout position, turnout fouling and block occupancy. It functions well and is always in use. The more tracks the better, I could only fit two and maintain the minimum track radius standard for the layout.





IMG_0014IMG_1362IMG_7989

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@AmFlyer posted:

The staging yard on my layout is hidden under the main level. It is at -6”.  The main layout level is 0”. There is a tunnel portal that trains use to enter and exit so it appears the trains have gone somewhere. It also functions as a reverse loop. There are two parallel storage tracks and a third train can be parked on the lead. Each storage track will hold a 25 car freight. The tunnel portal is between T6 and T8 on the LCS screen. It is shown at the lower left of the layout picture.

Since the track and turnouts are hidden there is a small LED panel in the fascia that shows turnout position, turnout fouling and block occupancy. It functions well and is always in use. The more tracks the better, I could only fit two and maintain the minimum track radius standard for the layout.





IMG_0014IMG_1362IMG_7989

Great looking layout, what is the grade to get down to that level? 

Thanks. The track at the tunnel entrance is at -4", the grade from the portal to the -6" elevation is 1.8%. The turnout, T6 is part of Mainline #2. We put a 2.2% grade in Mainline #2 on both sides of that turnout to get the tunnel entrance at the -4" level. We wanted the smallest grade possible on the hidden track, the two staging tracks are flat. Lowering Mainline #2 where it crossed the river also made for a good visual effect.

On my layout, the Staging Area is behind the green divider (to the right of it). The divider has a large photograph of blast furnaces on it and the steel mill buildings are diagonally against it.  By the way, direction of travel is counter-clockwise.

20230310 Staging Track Plan

It serves several purposes:

  • There is room to store 3 through trains, which can be hidden and then set out on the layout.
  • The double cross-over and spurs allow for the storage of 6-8 locomotives.
  • The walls of the Staging Area have shelves for storing cars.
  • The track to the immediate right of the green line is the Empties / Loads interchange.  I expect to position an operator in the white spaces within Staging.  His/her job will be to interchange steel-related loads for empties and vice-versa.

IMG_0577IMG_0581

In this photo an ore train can be seen headed behind the divider on the Empties/Loads track.

IMG_7456

Hope this gives you some ideas.

George

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  • IMG_0581
  • IMG_7456

Haven't built this plan but I've designed hidden storage below the main level. Probably the best way to add storage when spreading out is not an option.
The run is about 17' from 0" to -7" which is about a 3% grade, manageable for most engines. I haven't accounted for the depth of framing of the table into the clearance needed but I'd probably use steel angle and strategically placed supports to minimize the clearance needed.

Test Plan 1.0

This is the connecting track at table base level.

Test Plan 1.01

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  • Test Plan 1.01
@RSJB18 posted:

Haven't built this plan but I've designed hidden storage below the main level. Probably the best way to add storage when spreading out is not an option.
The run is about 17' from 0" to -7" which is about a 3% grade, manageable for most engines. I haven't accounted for the depth of framing of the table into the clearance needed but I'd probably use steel angle and strategically placed supports to minimize the clearance needed.

Test Plan 1.0

This is the connecting track at table base level.

Test Plan 1.01

Bob……..love your plan……….one note of caution. I see that your plan has curved switches. I am inferring that you will use Ross or Atlas for the yard. I had Atlas O54/O72 switches on my previous layout, the 6x16. They mechanically and electrically worked well. They save space for longer straightaways. However, at the time I was using small engines, Geeps, RS units and small steamers…..and, running them at scale yard speeds. I found that the “no power” gap on the curved switches caused more than a few power outages. Thus, within 2 years of starting the layout, I eliminated them. This is something to consider, especially, knowing that your motive power fleet contains similar engines…….and likely will be running at similar slow speeds.

Please note, I have no knowledge of the power gap on Ross curved switches. It may be shorter. I just don’t know but didn’t even bother to look when I switched track brands to Ross on the new layout.

Peter

Last edited by Putnam Division
@RSJB18 posted:

Haven't built this plan but I've designed hidden storage below the main level. Probably the best way to add storage when spreading out is not an option.
The run is about 17' from 0" to -7" which is about a 3% grade, manageable for most engines. I haven't accounted for the depth of framing of the table into the clearance needed but I'd probably use steel angle and strategically placed supports to minimize the clearance needed.

Test Plan 1.0

This is the connecting track at table base level.

Test Plan 1.01

Bob, will you be installing block occupancy sensors?

@Putnam Division Peter- I'm not a fan of curved switches either for various reasons including gaps and potential dead spots. When and if I build it, I'll do some testing before getting to far along.

@pennsyfan Bob- I'd be able to see the tracks to know where trains are. That said, I'd employ block detection and a camera under there too.

Subways are being considered too.....😁😁

Last edited by RSJB18

Ross curved switches are great.  On the really long ones (O96/O120), the normally-dead rails between the center rail segments need to be powered, using a relay.  The relay supplies center rail power to one of the segments, depending on how the switch is thrown.  Here are a couple of my staging yards (in a room adjacent to the layout room).

final 4final 9

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  • final 4
  • final 9

Bob……..love your plan……….one note of caution. I see that your plan has curved switches. I am inferring that you will use Ross or Atlas for the yard. I had Atlas O54/O72 switches on my previous layout, the 6x16. They mechanically and electrically worked well. They save space for longer straightaways. However, at the time I was using small engines, Geeps, RS units and small steamers…..and, running them at scale yard speeds. I found that the “no power” gap on the curved switches caused more than a few power outages. Thus, within 2 years of starting the layout, I eliminated them. This is something to consider, especially, knowing that your motive power fleet contains similar engines…….and likely will be running at similar slow speeds.

Please note, I have no knowledge of the power gap on Ross curved switches. It may be shorter. I just don’t know but didn’t even bother to look when I switched track brands to Ross on the new layout.

Peter

Peter has a great point, however, some folks on the forum have come up with a solution for this problem. I am using this solution and it works well!. Here is a link to some information.

https://www.ogrforum.com/...switch-powered-rails

Mike

@Bob posted:

Ross curved switches are great.  On the really long ones (O96/O120), the normally-dead rails between the center rail segments need to be powered, using a relay.  The relay supplies center rail power to one of the segments, depending on how the switch is thrown.  Here are a couple of my staging yards (in a room adjacent to the layout room).

final 4final 9

That’s good news about the Ross curved switches……

Peter

I use active staging on my layout. The 12-track stub-on-wye terminal yard is out in the open and will eventually be scenicked to look like Camden station, Baltimore. One photo shows the five freight staging tracks on the right. The six tracks to the left are the passenger tracks, and are actively switched to make up trains with accurate B&O consists. The track in the middle is the wye tail track, and allows for departure of westbound passenger and eastbound freight trains. The tracks are on a slight downward grade and all trains back in (downhill). The other photo shows the wye end of the yard, which is adjacent to the main line in the main train room. There was a wye on the B&O called Bailey's near Camden station.DSC_0094DSC_0111

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  • DSC_0094: Camden station
  • DSC_0111: Wye at Bailey's

I included four pass-through staging tracks into two reverse loops. With this setup, I can also run trains in a figure-eight-type fashion within the reverse loop (inner) main line, allowing for some extra paths trains can take. The outer main can access the inner, so a train on the outer can turn around then head back out or park and allow one of the staged trains to head out and run. I also have a passing siding on the outer main where a passenger train is typically held, so five trains are staged and two can run simultaneously. I run only postwar locomotives, so everything is controlled with blocks. The control panel pictured is for the inner main with the reverse loops and four staging tracks.controlpanelstaging1staging2staging3

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  • controlpanel
  • staging1
  • staging2
  • staging3

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